Browsing Tag

karen salmansohn

Guest Posts

Manifest-Station Message of the Day.

June 21, 2012

Manifest-Station Message of the Day for 6/21/12

By meditating, you teach your mind how to find that beautiful quiet nook where your true self, your I-am-love-self can grow.

Where the real you can be free of the tacky costume of your cheap mind-chatter.

Even if it starts with 3 minutes a day: meditate!

Karen Salmansohn rocks.

Train your mind to fall in love with the spaces in between.

 

shot by Kames Knowles

Hearing Loss, Self Image

Dreaming Perfect.

June 10, 2012

Last week I had this dream I was perfect.

I was tall and leggy. I had sweet, brown-colored skin and light eyes.

I had perfect hearing.

There was no ringing in my ears, so when you told me things like: Your coffee is getting cold or My name is … or I love you ~

I understood you.

I was happy in this dream.

Of course, I didn’t realize I was happy.

I woke up and tried to get back into the dream, but, as you know, that is impossible.

I almost got there, but in the new version of the dream I was short and fully deaf, instead of partially. Everything else was the same as the first dream.

I thought about the dream all day.

I realized later that day that maybe I wasn’t happy in the first dream, after all. Maybe I had just assumed, in that brief moment when I woke by my alarm, and I couldn’t get back, that I had been happy, since it’s our nature to assume that what we can’t have is better.

I have gotten over my height, my skin color, my weight, and the fact that light eyes got passed over on me.

I have not fully accepted my hearing loss.

Oh, what it would be like to hear a whistle!

A bird. Ice clinking in a glass. The television. My own yoga teacher. My own breath. Someone saying my name as a whisper.

As I sit here and listen to the ringing in my ears that never goes away, I fall into a state of meditation, as if my tinnitus were actually a constant “Om” in my head instead of torture.

Then it hit me like a ton of bells ringing. This package of me, the sum total of all my parts, is greater than my hearing loss. I am normally terrified of equations, but as soon as I stop and think about the mathematics of myself, I know that I have accepted my loss indeed. I realize that this profound hearing loss, which causes me so much pain and aggravation—so much sadness and loneliness—also causes me so much love.

I had never thought of love quite like that. As if it were an effect that had been caused by something. I always thought it was just something like the weather—it just was. Like love just appeared one day like the wind, and we accepted it as Nature just doing its thing, running its course. We don’t question love most days. I love my mother, I love my husband, I love my students. It just is. This I know.

But there is a cause and effect.

My hearing loss has caused me love because people have been drawn to my compassion, which is my loss transformed. I have been able to turn my deafness into my grace, and that grace has opened me to love I never dreamed possible.

So today I change my mind. I accept this thing about myself that I once hated. By doing that I allow other things about me to shine. Those things, like my sense of humor and my touch. My vision beyond what my eyes can see, and my kindness. My philosophy of “If you fall you must laugh” was born out of not being able to hear. You can’t take life too seriously.

I mean, how can you, when you can’t hear most of it?

My hearing loss has allowed me to laugh at myself, which in turn has allowed others to laugh at themselves.

What a gift!

I had a dream last night and I was me in the dream. Regular old me. Mostly deaf, kind of clumsy, hazel eyes, pale skin, silly. In it, someone leaned over and asked me if I was happy.

I laughed and said Of course I am happy. Why wouldn’t I be? Now pour me another glass of wine.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
**Post originally appeared on Positively Positive where I am proud to be a regular contributor.

Jen will be leading a Manifestation Yoga®  weekend retreat at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshires, Massachusetts Feb 1-3, 2013. 

 

Gratitude, Guest Posts, Inspiration, Manifestation Retreats

A Delicious Pack of Weirdos. By James Vincent Knowles.

May 10, 2012

 

 

 Poster by SimpleReminders.com Pre-order their book www.SimpleReminders.info Subscribe for more: www.bryantmcgill.net


Poster by SimpleReminders.com
Pre-order their book www.SimpleReminders.info
Subscribe for more: www.bryantmcgill.net


 **Jen Touchette brilliantly coined our group: A Delicious Pack of Weirdos.

A Delicious Pack of Weirdos** by James Vincent Knowles.

I saw God in Ojai and then I saw my life flash before me.

He was in me and She was in the others.

Evidently He’d been there all along.

I felt powerful.

What an awesome feeling, knowing oneself and God all at once.

This past weekend I did a little yoga retreat in Ojai. I say I “did” it because it took some doing to ignore “reality” and move towards a more real ideal. The reality was, I’d never been on a yoga retreat. Another reality was, I had no money. That was one of those get-real, realities. Also, I’d never before attended a yoga class, much less a retreat filled with yoga weirdos. That’s some scary reality. The reality was I had plenty of real-reality that woulda, coulda, and some might say, shoulda kept me at home rather than boppin’ over to Ojai for one of Jennifer Pastiloff’s yoga retreats.

A few months ago I’d stopped taking private yoga lessons and that experience and photographing 25 yoga girls turned me on to the idea that yoga people had it more together than any other group I’d ever met. I felt I had plenty of reasonable reasons for not having at least been doing a few down dogs at home every day. For the most part it pretty much came down to having given up on living life fully, if not having given up on living at all.

After attending this retreat in Ojai, that story, the one behind my feeling like giving up, is over.

To get the reality particulars out of the way: this yoga retreat was held at an estate Retreat and Vineyard in Ojai, CA about an hour drive north of L.A. The main building on the estate is a large house built in that solidly gorgeous craftsman style. If you’ve ever been over to Brad Pitt’s house, it’s a lot like that, only more acreage, quieter, sexier, more tranquil, better food, better pool, way more trees, gardens, wild animals, birds, and laughter. Let me describe it a bit more below before I get back to the reality that really matters.

And just to give you a little reality on my own real life perspective for comparison, I’ve stayed at many of the 4 and 5 star hotels in America as well as a few in foreign countries. As many of you are no doubt aware, if you’re staying at a Four Seasons or a Ritz Carlton, you’re going to be very comfortable and wake up in a bed you want never leave. And these sorts of many starred hotels have really great, really expensive room service as well as big plush towels to tempt you.

Jen’s Ojai retreat was not the Four Seasons and there was no room service nor any big fluffy towels. Indeed, as soon as I arrived, I could feel this place was so much more than fluffy towels and comfy beds and room service. The estate is a certified, bona fide Estate.

A place where I could do at least one of the two most important things in life. Connect wholeheartedly with other people. Sure enough, it was like a three day vacation but for angels only.

Being there was to experience what the world would be like if everyone understood what love means.

It was like falling in love, phase one, when everything is strange and exciting and even though you’re not sure, you’re sure.

And sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. This retreat was about connection. Connection with self, others and the Universe / God.

Mind you, I’m not just speaking of my own experience, though my own experience was indeed about connection with God in me and others. I’m speaking of connection in such an enormous way, I actually saw God in Ojai in other people. All of them, strangers. A whole pack of ‘em~!

I’ve been a professional observer for 44 years, so when I say I saw others connecting and sharing and being and loving and giving and caring and understanding and being interested and being empathic and compassionate and friendly and smiling and beaming and spreading kindness before them and trailing kindness behind, well, all I can say is, I witnessed it and felt its effects. For real.

I’ll give you just a teeny-tiny glimpse of just a couple little things that actually happened in me, to me, and with me whilst there. You’ll have to take my word for it that much more happened than I’ve room to share.

To start with, every part of me was afraid to go. I’d never met any of the others attending this retreat, including Jennifer Pastiloff. Indeed, I’d not been around any people at all for 18 months prior to this retreat. Oh sure, I’d been out a few times in public to get a cup of coffee, but in a strange town with no friends the extent of my socializing was saying hello to a barista or bank teller.

I’d been studying, editing, thinking, writing, contemplating and meditating for most of this past year and a half. In the process of doing so, I’d finally arrived at the conclusion I am a good guy who’s in need of connection with others. I realize that might sound weird but as some of you may have already experienced, sometimes life can be a bit confounding. I’d seen a few of Jennifer’s blog posts a few months previous to this retreat and I’d recognized something unique. Something that resonated importantly and loudly. She appeared to be authentic. You know … “real.” I suppose that’s why I was so afraid to go to Ojai. What if this was just another phony, fake, pretender?

What if this was just another gaggle of superficial, shallow a-holes whose favorite subject is me, me, me?

And by that I don’t mean me, I mean, themselves. But I felt ready for reality, either way. I couldn’t take cave dwelling, friendless and alone any longer. It was time to find out if I’d grown up at all.

So I went.

The way I came to connect with Jennifer was via Facebook. Isn’t that kinda weird in and of itself? Last December she’d posted something on her blog that got my attention. I can just hear her right this second saying, “there are no accidents.” It truly was uncanny how what I’m about to share with you came to be. I was in a dark place.  Still reaching for light. Searching for something that was really real. Something that matters. Something that helps change perspective. I still believed such a thing was possible. And as it turned out, when I saw it, I felt it, right there in one of her blog posts. Mind you, this is a FB friend and I can’t even be sure how exactly we got to be FB friends. If I had to venture a guess it would be that she was FB friends with someone whom I really loved in the real world.

When I read Jennifer’s blog, I left a comment and noticed she replied … authentically.

That got my attention. I read more of her posts. Everything she wrote resonated. I continued to comment.

One day she suggested / requested me to attend her Ojai retreat. I was shocked but I said I would, even though I had no idea how I could pay for it, let alone get the vagina to do it. (Some of you will get the joke, some will google it, others will have to learn the hard way that if you want “tough,” grow a vagina).

So here’s what the retreat was like.

It was like coming home to her, the loveliest lover, love of my life, after a long arduous road trip traveling with Pandora with her damn already opened box containing all the evils in the world, for thousands of miles, locked inside with her in an old VW Bug. It was like the first kiss after you’d learned, or so you thought, how to make love without any obvious insecurity, and how after that first kiss with your last love, the final one you know will be lasting, even your hidden fears disappeared.

It was like being under the veranda in Ojai on the most perfect balmy evening, full moon light glowing, casting dancing shadows amongst the trees, adding sparkling little catch lights each time someone turns to speak, to speak to you! … and discovering you’re surrounded by all your best friends, ever, in this one small huge paradisiacal place.

Everyone who was there was fully there. Each of them was the most valuable being in the Universe.

At first, I couldn’t believe it, even as I felt this connection and felt these delicious people touch my heart. Oddly it wasn’t overwhelming.

There was an immediate flow of acceptance.

Each person there, one by one and all at once, were connecting immediately with one another.

This experience wasn’t orchestrated by Jennifer, though she’s obviously the maestro. All these people were sharing: understanding. Here’s what was really weird, and it was indeed bizarrely weird. There were no stories being told!

These beneficent, magnificent beings had somehow arrived in one place together and each of them were willing to be understood without pleading for attention or anything like it.

And they were understood. Is that not excruciatingly amazing? From reality to real to strangely weird. An automatic bam without an exclamation mark? Just like, wow man, wow. Bam.

Everyone who was supposed to be there, was fully there, right there, in Ojai, under a full moon in the most beautiful garden, and every single one of them, including me, was glowing.

Again, I’ve never participated in any sort of yoga retreat before this one. Perhaps they’re all like the one I attended in Ojai. If so, there is more than enough hope for the world. To spend three days around 40 people, not once hearing a single cynical, sarcastic, mean word. Not once did I see anyone so much as get annoyed, let alone act upset or angry or bummed out by anything.

And that story thing~! I mean, I’m not the most gregarious dude, meaning I don’t go out of my way to bug people with talk. Nevertheless, in 3 days, all of which were spent without any distractions other than the beauty and splendor of the place and the delightful people attending, I experienced several soulful, heart-and-soul-level conversations with others but not one story. Not one. It was effing evolved, man. Stories were just unnecessary. That’s just freaky.

I could go on and on about this amazing Jennifer chick and her Ojai weekend. Fill a book, probably. It would be more than enlightening, filled with love, infinitely fascinating and awe inspiring, an exciting mystery, a thrilling adventure and the most sensual thing you’ve ever read. But that would take far too long. This is the sort of news that needs be disseminated wide and far.

Positively positive news. When’s the last time you got that on t.v., or anywhere else?

Egoless would be another way to describe this past weekend. 40 souls who attended a yoga retreat and found a way to live with one another and love each other without anyone’s ego screwing it up? That’s just astonishing. Really.

And now a little practical reportage about some of the physical realities of the weekend … Caspar Poyck, Culinary Therapist prepared the most delectable meals. Just one dude. One chef for 40 people. I feel good about what I’m about to say about this cat. Before attending this retreat, a salad to me was just lettuce with maybe a sprinkling of cheese and balsamic. I grew up eating hamburgers, hotdogs, pork chops and steaks with canned veggies and potatoes, so I’m the pickiest eater you’ve ever met. Caspar’s meals were so beyond what I’ve eaten in some Michelin 3 star restaurants the only thing that makes sense as to why he does what he does the way he does it is that it is all about love. You can taste it. You can see him putting love into the food. All the food he prepared was straight out of the garden. You could see it and you could taste it and the fact that 40 people all devoured every morsel of every meal proved it. How he found time to patiently teach a class of almost everyone attending the retreat how to cook a healthy meal is beyond me.

The fact “the class” created one of the best meals of the weekend just blew my mind.

The place itself was, let’s just say, better than the best resort I’ve stayed at in Hawaii or Cabo or in the Caribbean or Acapulco or Puerta Vallarta. What’s really amazing is, during all three days, not one staff member was seen. I’m not even sure there are any. And there was not one authority figure. That’s what you get when you’re a responsible person, I’m told. Freedom.

Mind you, I paid for my weekend with money I didn’t have when I committed to attend yet somehow the money to attend “manifested” the day before I was to head to Ojai.

After experiencing Jen’s yoga retreat, I felt compelled to share with you some of what I observed. I’d never met one single person in attendance at this retreat but I will reveal I fell in love with more than one person whilst I was there.

Firstly, I fell in love with myself. Then I actually fell in love with several other people whom I know will always be friends.

I’m gonna start collecting friends this way. What an amazing discovery~!

I can see that butterfly theory thing going on here.

I posit that this could be the pyramid scheme to end all pyramid schemes. This could be the quantum physics, quantum mechanics solution to living life wholeheartedly. If I’m even half right, there are 20 other people who feel the same (or better) and who’ll do the same (or more). And this just from attending one yoga retreat~! Wow.

They say the teacher appears when the student is ready. Yep.

How do I put forth with such certainty something like this can and will help change the world? Because I met 40 people who care about something other than and greater than, themselves. 40 people who are connected with the God / the Universe in themselves and within others. It’s gonna spread like mad-crazy-love should.

I should also mention Frank Gjata, though he’s the sort of fellow one doesn’t really need to mention. I suppose that if you go to one of Jennifer’s yoga retreats, you’ll either meet him or get connected with him. Everyone who was in Ojai met Frank. Everyone who was in Ojai is now connected with Frank, not to mention with each other, in large part due to Frank. Frank is awesome. That’s all need be said about Frank.

I’d say a bunch of stuff about Jennifer but you can find out all you need to know the same way I did. Go to her FB page or google or listen to this one story. This is the only story I’m going to share about this weekend. For now, anyway.

Imagine that you have 40 disparate people at a yoga retreat who’ve paid money to be there. 40 people who are there to grow spiritually, who are there to connect with themselves, God and others on a spiritual level. 40 people who are there to have fun. Now imagine you’ve got 40 people to guide towards goodness and some huge and horrible news lands in your lap during your yoga retreat. Something that would no doubt more than momentarily distract most people from work. Something which would cause most people to get shouty or angry and which would diminish most people’s ability to be joyful for a day or two, at least. This happened to Jen this past weekend. But it didn’t happen to Jen. And it didn’t happen to anyone else, either. There was no story. She dealt with it in a couple hours, and went straight back to being the maestro of joy, the heartfelt, heart-full conductor, the maestro-maestress yogi yoga girl, the dance-putter-onner and dj, the empath-true-ist, the manifesting maniac and the authentic compassionate soul she obviously is.

A few months ago I’d never have imagined anyone could do that. Certainly not myself. But seeing her, witnessing her do it, and not just do it but seeing and feeling her deal with it the way she did gave me strength and lifted my soul to soaring.

This chick is weird in a very delicious and strange way. She’s really real. Not just strong. Not just genuinely caring and kind. Not hippy dippy or woo-woo either. She talks funny because she can’t hear worth a crap and yet she hears everything that matters. She notices stuff most people don’t or won’t. She’s wholehearted.

She’s honestly growing and learning so she can help others grow and learn. And she deals with stuff right now. And she does it so honestly and with such integrity and empathy and gratitude, one has to at least acknowledge just how marvelously amazing that is. I mean, she’s really real~! Which just blows my mind right the eff up and melts my heart all the way to the God in us all.

I hope for everyone who reads this, this message gets passed on. Tell someone you love them today. Create your life and manifest goodness in it for others. Let go of the stuff that’s no longer serving you. Connect with the Universe / the God in yourself first so you can connect with others. Be astonished.

See how astonishing you actually really are for real. There are only two things that matter in life after all the contemplation is thrown out: Spending time with others we love and that which we do for others without expecting something in return. I think you might find all the reality in the world comes down to just those two things. I hope you do. And it’s at such a place as Jennifer’s Ojai retreat this reality was made fully real for me amongst a delicious pack of weirdos. You know who you are, obviously, because you’re all really real, which is what makes you all so weird.

Wine tasting

Randy and Marla getting their groove on! Click photo to find more info on Randy aka the Malibu Healer!

Being silly

Frank Gjata, creator of Blississippi, giving an amazing lecture on BLISS!

Chef Caspar doin’ his thang

Yes, it was a Super Moon!

Halo!

Some of the group.

Jimmy captured the Super Moon!

Connection.

Lunch

Milk Maid! Love this shot of Jen Touchette by Jimmy!

Manifesting bliss. Check out the Conscious Ink “Follow Your Bliss” tattoos.

To oder James Vincent Knowles book “Yoga Girls” please click here.

 

Jennifer Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. She has been featured on Good Morning America, NY Magazine, Oprah.com. Her writing has been featured on The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, Jezebel, Salon, and more. Jen leads her signature Manifestation Retreats & Workshops all over the world. The next retreat is to Ojai, Calif over Labor Day/New Years. She is also leading a Writing + The Body Retreat with Lidia Yuknavitch Jan 31-Feb 1 in Ojai. Email retreats at jenniferpastiloff dot come for info. Check out jenniferpastiloff.com for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you. Next up: Seattle, Atlanta, South Dakota, NYC, Dallas, Miami, Tucson & The Berkshires (guest speaker Canyon Ranch.) She tweets/instagrams at @jenpastiloff. Next Ojai retreat is Labor Day and there are a few spots left.

How To, Inspiration

15 Rules To Live By. Debut Post on MindBodyGreen.

April 15, 2012

I am thrilled to now be a regular contributor to MindBodyGreen.

My first post went up yesterday which was titled 15 Rules To Live By.

My friend Karen Salmansohn made me this poster to go with the article.

Click here to read the full post on MindBodyGreen and as always, feel free to comment.

Each post will delve into one of my 15 rules.

1. Be Kind.
2. Have a sense of humor especially when it comes to YOU.
3. Write poems, even if only in your head.
4. Sing out loud, even if badly.
5. Dance, even with no rhythm.
6. If you don’t have anything nice to say… you know the deal.
7. Find things to be in awe of.
8. Be grateful for what you have right now.
9. Watch Modern Family, read Wayne Dyer, and end every complaint with “But I’m so blessed!”
10. Duh, do yoga.
11. Don’t worry. Everyone on Facebook seems like they have happier and funner lives. They don’t.
12. Tell someone you love that you love them. Right now.
13.Take more pictures.
14. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. No such thing.
15. Thank the Universe in advance.
Daily Manifestation Challenge

I Take Responsibility For _______. The DMC is Back! Daily Manifestation Challenge by Jen Pastiloff.

April 4, 2012

In my Manifestation Workshops I ask the people in the room to do a lot of things.

I ask them to sing.

To dance.

To twist.

To downdog.

To be silly.

To write.

One of the things I have them write is a sentence that begins with I take responsibility for ________. They then finish the sentence and keep writing for a few minutes.

The great thing about this journaling is that because I have gotten them hot and sweaty and taken them to the edge in their yoga practice, their writing is more raw, less  thought out as it were, less inhibited. More truth-filled.

They get more by thinking less.

Oh, the irony. The sweet irony.

I ask them how many times they keep a journal by their mat in yoga class. Most said never. It’s like taking a journal with you into your dreams.

So they finish this sentence I take responsibility for ________. On Sunday, in NYC at Pure Yoga, I looked around at my packed workshop as they were writing this portion and I noticed all the faces got dark as if a cloud of worry and guilt landed between their eyebrows and started to rain heavy thoughts.

I suggested to the room Don’t forget to take responsibility for your awesomeness too.

The room lit up. The weather changed.

It was as, all at once, they all thought Oh yea, I am awesome! I forget sometimes.

We all do. We are human. Hopefully.

Sometimes these questions lead us to the corners of our souls, and that is fine. We need to look there every once in a while and clean it out. But I would like to invite you all to go to the light places. The places where you are having a dance party (we do that in my workshop as well.) The places were you are your best self.

Your highest self.

Today’s DMC, or Daily Manifestation Challenge is this: What can you take responsibility for in your own life? In the comment section below, start yours with: I take responsibility for ______________.

Also, take a look at where you are taking responsibility for what is not yours. For example, I no longer take responsibility for my dad dying. Not mine. I give it back.

Are you giving someone else responsibilities that aren’t theirs? How about this one: He makes me feel so bad about myself. My last relationship before I met my husband was this kind. The kind where I gave him all the power, blame and responsibility. I was unhappy all the time. I mean, I must’ve been if I refer to that time as The Dark Years.

Last night in class it was our mantra. Whenever the hands come to prayer my students silently said ” I take responsibility for __________.” They filled in the blank with their own private universe.

The hands came to prayer at least 50 times so my hope is that a sort of rewiring occurs. My hope is that the cable has been re-installed, the lights came back on, the rent got paid. My hope is that they walk out of the room and into their homes with that new thought in their mind which, in turn, will shift their lives, in small or not so subtle ways.

I gave out my Manifestation bracelets yesterday in class. I told my students to look at that blue band and remember what they can take responsibility for.

One of my favorite students, a handsome older man who is a grandfather (he’s the one who told me I give mini semi-Jewish church-like sermons) sent me this email last night:

Dear Jen, The bracelet is already working. I realized that I manifest to myself regret and sorrow.

So the bracelet reminds me to move away from that.

Also, the taking responsibility idea — very useful. Hard to do but necessary and

uplifting.

Where do you keep coming up with all this good stuff?


What can you take responsibility for today?

I take responsibility for how far I have come in 3 years.

I take responsibility for my own happiness.

I take responsibility for my choices.

I take responsibility for my creativity.

I take responsibility for my chaos.

I take responsibility for my kindness.

I take responsibility for the people I chosen to have in my life.

I take responsibility for the powerful connector that I am and the connections I make with people.

I take responsibility for my procrastination.

I take responsibility for my health.

Now it’s your turn.

The Daily Manifestation Challenge is back. Manifesting our best selves one laugh a time.  One thought a time. One breath at a time.

I take responsibility for getting invited by Oprah's people to be at Oprah on Monday in NYC. I made it happen. Bam!

Love yourself, Accept, Forgive and.... Take Responsibility!
My dear friend Karen Salmansohn made this poster. She is incredible. Am reading her book "Bounce Back" right now and it is life changing! Check her out at www.notsalmon.com

Inspiration, manifesting

PMM: Pinch Me Moments.

April 1, 2012

I’m writing to you from the Upper East Side. As in New York City.

It’s so good to be back here. I feel more alive. I am awake. Really awake.

Thursday night, as I was teaching in SoHo at Yoga Vida, there was this moment when I caught my reflection in the windows facing Broadway. The buildings across the street and all the sweaty bodies reflected behind me in the reflection, and I thought This is where I am meant to be. I’m home.

I feel very much at home and comfortable on the East Coast.

Those that know me in person know that I am a bit of an anomaly in California.

So, I am here and loving it.

I taught my life affirming Manifestation Workshops in Philadelphia at Dhyana Yoga, my home studio there, and now in NYC at Yoga Vida in Soho and PURE Yoga West on the Upper West Side.

(By life affirming I mean we: sing, dance, journal, laugh, cry, play, go upside down, do partner work, write letters to our younger selves, twist, sweat and create new ideas of who we are. That kind of life affirming.)

I’ve never done this before but last night, as I sat at dinner with Wayne Dyer’s 4 ridiculously amazing and talented daughters, Eric Handler whose baby is Positively Positive and Oprah people, I pinched myself.

I reached under the table and pinched myself.

It hurt.

(I was just checking.)

Here I am in cities that are not where I live, selling out workshops. People are showing up in droves because they have read my words. That is my dream. Holy guacamole! They have read my words and have been so moved or affected that they came to my workshop which cost money. The green kind.

Here I am in the Village having a 5 hour lunch with my muse, the superstar and best selling author Karen Salmansohn, who also writes for Oprah. Telling her I would love to write for Oprah as well. (Wouldn’t you know just a few hours later I am at dinner with Oprah people and they are saying ” You should write for Oprah.com.”) Karen and I couldn’t part ways. Soul sisters is an understatement.

Here I am at a trendy Thai place in the Meat packing District of Manhattan having dinner with these folks and laughing my Pad Thai stuffed face off.

Three years ago I was asking: Egg whites or whole egg?. Chips or salad? More coffee?

Three years ago I was depressed and still did not have my hearing aid so I was half deaf and depressed. Ugh.

I had one of those moments last night where I simply stopped and acknowledged myself.

How often do you do that?

Like really, really acknowledge? Like the kind where you get goosebumps acknowledging?

Like when you get clear on what you have done and the goosebumps come.

Like when you get clear on who you are and the goosebumps come.

Like when you get clear on what you have overcome or broke through and the goosebumps come and never go away.

How often do we stop and acknowledge?

And, as my dear friend Frank Gjata always says: Acknowledge is Power.

(One of my favorite temporary tattoos of his from Conscious Ink.)

Lats night I looked at everyone at the table wearing my blue band. Yes, the misprinted ones that say Man-fest instead of Manifest. I sat across from the top producer at HARPO Studios wearing my blue bracelet as she ate her shrimp.

Skye and Serena Dyer (Wayne Dyer's daughters) wearing their Manifestation Man-festing bracelets.

It was such a chuckle moment.

I love chuckle moments.

When I realize how life works and how sometimes it is just so comical. How easeful. How’s it’s like one big ride.

When they all started toasting me last night I had to laugh at the hilarity of it. Toasting me, Jennifer Pastiloff, for making last night happen, for bringing everyone together.

(Funny because that is what I think of myself as: The Connector. Not the Yoga teacher, but the Connector.)

I have Wayne Dyer, Oprah and Positively Positive all on my vision board next to NYC. I have a picture of Oprah and under it says “Oprah’s Favorite Things” where I taped the words “Manifestation Retreats.”

Hee hee.

So yea, Oprah may not be at my next retreat just yet or saying that it is her favorite thing, but hot damn, her producers are having dinner with me, wearing my bracelets, asking me all about my blog. I’d say it was kind of a chuckle pinch me moment.

A CPMM: Chuckle Pinch Me Moment.

I may change my flight and stay for Oprah’s life class on Monday. My flight is out of Philly so I can be back for my early Equinox class Tuesday morning.

Last night I started to fret. I cannot miss another class. Bla. Bla. I have to get back. Bla bla.

I cannot recall the exact fretting. But it was something along those lines.

Then I thought: Wait a minute, Jennifer Pastiloff, just you wait a minute.

This is your dream, you nincompoop.

You would say no?

What am I afraid of?

Why would I say no?

Here it is. I am going to divulge the fear.

When I am happy I fear that it will be taken away, that I will wake up and be back to working at the Newsroom so I can say ” See, nothing good lasts.”

Eww, pop psychology is so cheesy and predictable.

I refuse to be cheesy and predictable.

My Equinox class will still be there for me if I miss one more to see Oprah.

I deserve to have my dreams come true.

There. I just said that.

Can you say that?

Join me please so I don’t feel like I am alone in a cab on the Avenue of Dreams all by my lonesome.

And guys? Bliss goes with everything.

Wear it all the time.

Serena Dyer, Harriet Seitler (executive VP for Harpo, as in Oprah, studios), and Eric Handler of Positively Positive all wear their Manifestation bracelets. Bam!

Serena tweeting. Follow her at @serenadyer
She is co-writing a book with her dad Wayne Dyer which I cannot wait for!

My most favorite tweet ever came last night from Serena Dyer.

Now, as you know, Wayne Dyer, her father, is my beloved teacher. She tweeted this:

Serena Dyer ‏ @serenadyer

The Dyer’s have adopted an honorary sister @ManifestYogaJen, just call her Sennifer 🙂

Contests & Giveaways

What You Think About Men Is What You Man-Fest.

April 1, 2012

How I love Karen Salmansohn (you may know her as NotSalmon)

She came up with that line. Clever thing, she is.

What You Think About Men Is What You Man-Fest.

After my whole debacle with my Manifestation bracelets saying Man-fest instead, Karen, Frank Gjata and I decided that it was a happy accident.

So here it is.

Man-festing. 

 

Let’s celebrate all the wonderful men in our world! I want to hear from you below about some of the incredible men in your life! Please share either their name with a lot of “xoxoxo’s” next to their name – or share a little description about why they are the rock in your world – or have rocked your world.

 

AND….if you’re a single woman – and you want to be in a happy relationship – it’s especially important you let go of your anger at any men/man from your past – and celebrate men! If you’re holding onto anger at men as a category – you will have trouble being in a happy, loving relationship with a man as an individual – for oh so many reasons! Indeed, in my book PRINCE HARMING SYNDROME I strongly encourage women to let go of their resentment for their ex! Some of this is because: Just as there is alluring sexual attraction (which people can feel but not see), there’s also angry energy repulsion (which people can feel but not see). If you think angry thoughts about men and love, then you will be emitting an angry vibration which can be intuitively felt by others—as if you’re giving off an anti-charisma. (For more on this topic, check out the FREEBIE excerpt from PRINCE HARMING SYNDROME by clicking here now…

http://notsalmon.com/2011/09/21/the-law-of-attraction-really-begins-with-the-law-of-subtraction/

 

With all this in mind – and because men deserve our appreciation for a range of terrific reasons – Karen Salmansohn, Conscious Ink (Frank Gjata) and I will be doing a series of posts which celebrate men for the wonderful beings they are – with some fun giveaways! Stay tuned.

Leave your comment in the box below or on Karen or my Facebook pages!

 

manifesting

Be. Amazed. Now.

March 21, 2012

Take a picture of your face and remember

That in many years  you will be amazed at how gorgeous you were.

Be amazed now.

~excerpt from a poem I wrote called “How To Make a Life” 
Honored that my friend, muse and partner in crime has created this poster with my words. Stay tuned for Karen Salmansohn and my newest project: Man-festing!
More on karen at www.notsalmon.com
Feel free to share this poster, and, remember, whatever you do, be amazed. Now.
Yes, right this very moment.
**************************
Jennifer Pastiloff will be teaching at the Tadasana International Yoga & Music Festival over Earth Day weekend on the beach in Santa Monica, CA, April 20– 22. Click here to check out the festival website and purchase tickets. Enter the code Pastiloff for a $50 discount! (Please note that discount codes expire April 1).
Gratitude

What’s In Your “Thank You” Box?

March 18, 2012

I am Humbled that the amazing best-selling author and Oprah columnist Karen Salmansohn of notsalmon.com took my words and made one of her famous posters with them! (We are about to do a project together so stay tuned.)

The poem below is where the line came from.

I would love to hear what is in your own personal box?

Thank you Karen Salmanshon for crating this from my words.

How to Make a Life

First: Take everything you’ve ever learned and everything
you’ve yet to discover and place it in a box labeled “Thank You.”

Second: Take a picture of your face and remember
that in ten years time you will be amazed at how gorgeous you were.
Be amazed now.

Third: Find someplace to live.
Make sure it has the ability to let light fall
across the room in such a way that every so often,
you’ll stop and mouth the words “Ah, sunlight”

Before you finish dusting the books.

Don’t let the books get dusty.

Open them and reread your favorite sentences.

Or give the books away to someone who will love them as you once did.

Fourth: Fall in love.
Touch. More than you think.
Have a child if you want one.
If you don’t—don’t.
Let your child out into the world,
discovering for themselves just how magical it is.
Or it isn’t.
It’s theirs to decide.

Give your child a lot of books, especially fairy tales.

Fifth: Get a job.
Remember this job is not who you are.

Sixth: Do yoga.
Let your body discover what it’s like to move
without your brain holding its hand.
Tell your brain to take a hike.
Let your body believe fully in its own powers.
Let every person you’ve stored inside your muscles out
to breathe now and again.

Seventh: Do things that make you feel good.
Let your joy be contagious and spread through
your home, your job, your children.
Let it spread through the world like a virus,
so that when you forget it,
every so often, you’ll catch it from someone else.

 
Jennifer Pastiloff will be teaching at the Tadasana International Yoga & Music Festival over Earth Day weekend on the beach in Santa Monica, CA, April 20– 22. Click here to check out the festival website and purchase tickets. Enter the code Pastiloff for a $50 discount! (Please note that discount codes expire April 1.)

Guest Posts, Inspiration, Manifestation Workshops

The Power of Connection. A Must Read.

March 1, 2012

I wrote a piece yesterday calledWhat I Learned From an 8 Year Old, which, as it turns out, was a helluva lot.

And which, was my most popular blog post to date. I had thousands (yes, you read right) hits on this particular piece yesterday. Guess we can all learn from children?

Here is that post. 

What I Learned From An 8 Year Old.

I got an email later that day from the mom of Little Jen (L.J.), the 8 year old I learned so much from. I met her mom through social media. She found me on Positively Positive and then entered my Twitter Contest I was running with Karen Salmansohn about inspiration. I loved reading her hourly tweets.

With her permission I am sharing the email she sent me yesterday. It made me cry and it also inspired me to be a better person. To be the best possible parent when I have kids. To live more fully and be more vulnerable. To be real. To connect with people I might never have connected with. To allow life to touch me.

She did not win the contest ( by choice). Katherine, a young college student who tweeted us about every 15 minutes won instead. It was a tie between the two and the “mom”, in true mom fashion, let the kid win.

Without further ado, here is the email.

It is beyond gorgeous. I am humbled.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“The Email”

 

Wow. Seriously? Wow, Jen.

After reading your post today, my mind is spinning. There are both no words and a flood of words swirling around in my head.

Let me share with you what brought me to your class on Saturday.

Last year I was offered my dream job. It had the big fancy title, an impressive paycheck, and lots of prestige. It was in my area of expertise and a field I wanted to explore. I leapt at the chance. My heart swelled. I was so excited that finally, FINALLY, I had the brass ring. This past January, a little over a year after accepting my dream job, I resigned. It broke my heart, but my year working at my dream job was one of the worst years of my life. I was constantly stressed out, unhappy, unhealthy and I now had both Xanex and Prozac in my medicine cabinet. But worst of all, I felt like a failure. By the company’s standards I was doing well. By my standards I was failing. After a year, I wasn’t making the progress or having the impact I knew I could make. I felt like I could have been doing so much better. My whole life I’d gotten ahead by working harder and being smarter than the average bear. That didn’t work here. It was too political and I’m too blunt and impatient. I had ideas and strategies that I knew would be successful, but couldn’t get approval to implement them. Mediocre is not my style. I couldn’t do the work I set out to do and I was MISERABLE. And worst of all, my misery was impacting my sweet family.

So, without another job lined up, without a clue what my next move would be, in a crappy economy, I quit my job. Everyone told me I was crazy. For decades, I have worked my ass off to be successful, thinking success would make me happy. I was wrong. I had literally won showcase #2 and I was miserable. I had saved up enough money to give myself some time to figure things out. I am blessed that my husband has a good job, so I didn’t have to give up any benefits. But still. I’m used to taking care of my family and myself, so this was scary.

I moved forward knowing three things:

1. I had to find a way to be my own boss so I could set my own hours and be able to put my family first.

2. I had to be able to wear flip flops and jeans every day. No more dress up.

3. Whatever my new venture would be, it would be a social enterprise that benefitted my community.

My first course of action was to read. I read books, blogs, magazines, recipes for success and the back of cereal boxes. I read your Manifesto Of My Identity on the Positively Positive website and started following your blog. I read the books You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay, A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown, among others. I started reading A Course In Miracles. A whole new world opened up to me. One based on Love, Faith, and more Love. One where fear did not exist. One where happiness was a decision, not a result. A world where I am amazing and not less-than. A world I wanted to share with my family and friends.

I also entered your amazing twitter contest. I wanted to go to Ojai – I even wrote it on my manifestation mirror. The retreat pictures were intoxicating and I’m pretty sure I’ve been to that building in a previous life. For the contest, I made rules for myself. I couldn’t get out of bed until I found something inspiring to tweet. There were days the kids were almost late for school. Also, I couldn’t stockpile inspirational tweets. If I felt inspired at any time, I made myself tweet it right then– no saving something for tomorrow. Halfway thru the contest I almost quit because the exercise of saying Wow, Life is Great one or two times a day was its own reward. Ojai became irrelevant.

Flash forward to last Saturday. I almost didn’t come. I was listening to my fears:

1. I’m out of shape and Austin is filled with healthy, athletic people and I knew I’d be the biggest one in the room.

2. You would be disappointed meeting me, like online dating 🙂

3. I was worried I had put you on a pedestal and that you’d turn out to be human.

But I really wanted to meet this sparkplug, rock star, manifesting yoga teacher I had found on the Internet – there is a reason I found you when I did. I really wanted to experience manifestation yoga. More than anything, I really, really wanted the opportunity for my daughter to meet you. She is amazing and along with her twin brother (!), a gift from the gods. It’s my job to show her how wonderful life is and have her meet amazing people (Someday, some way, someone will break her heart. Someone will try to crush her dreams. I need to fortify her for that time so she can say “So what. Life is still amazing, awe-inspiring, and beautiful. Next”). Finally, I really felt the need to tell you in person how happy I am that you are on this earth, doing what you are doing. I don’t think we tell each other those kind of things as much as we should.

I’m so glad I came and brought Jen. I fell in love the minute you were kind to my daughter and I could see that you got her. She is over the moon about you, too.

You have helped me on my journey more than you will ever know, and for this I am eternally grateful. I hope all your dreams come true.

Jen will be sending her own note 🙂 Thank you for all of your kind words about her.

Love,

cj

Inspiration, Manifestation Retreats, Manifestation Workshops, manifesting

What I Learned From An 8 Year Old.

February 29, 2012

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black

By Jen Pastiloff.

This past weekend I taught my first workshops in Austin, Texas.

It went incredibly well. Here is the blog about that and my love letter to Austin.

I have been holding a Twitter contest with my friend Karen Salmansohn. It goes like this: Whoever tweets us the most what inspires them, wins. They also have to use the hashtag #manifest.

It’s been a little life changing to see what everyone has been tweeting to us.

It’s a win-win contest. The actual prize is a spot at my May Manifestation retreat to Ojai and a book by Karen (notsalmon.com).

So two people are in the lead for the contest. One woman lives in San Antonio and has a family and one is a college student who lives in Santa Barbara. I look forward to their hourly tweets. It’s a bit of an addiction. They keep me going throughout my day. Here are a few examples of their tweets.

@CarolJackson365 Inspired by kick ass cool contests that make me a better person. Thank you @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen #manifest

The sun rising on unfamiliar horizons inspires me to replace concept with reality. #manifest @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen

Inspired by chats w/strangers that fill heart w/joy. Funny how lovely folks r when u let them b them @ManifestYogaJen @Notsalmon#manifest

Inspired by london and the oneness and connection of different cultures. @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen #manifest

inspiration is a cheeky pub waitress who gives you hell when you order a diet coke. such a delight! @ManifestYogaJen @Notsalmon

Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us-Pema chodron. @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen#manifest

@KthrnGee The past couple of years I’ve been SO inspired by those who are AWAKE..if you know what I mean 😉 @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen#manifest

Inspiration makes my heart beat faster, it excites and motivates action for a better self. @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen #manifest

8yrs ago I was pressured to be in a gang. Crazy, right? Inspired by how far I’ve come. @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen #manifest

Lately, friendships have inspired me to stay away from those who add little value to my life. @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen #manifest

I choose to be inspired by the beauty of everyday life. I also choose love & wisdom. What do u choose? @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen #manifest

People who are cold towards me inspire me to be kind. Love is a human need. @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen #manifest

What would you do if your toddler told you she’s too fat? Love your INNER child; this inspires me. @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen#manifest

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Carol is the mom who lives in San Antonio and Katherine is 21 and in college.

Carol shows up to my workshop in Austin. Get this: with her 8 year old daughter! Naturally at first I am thinking: Oh Shit!

Because yes, I say Shit a lot and I was a bit afraid I would have to censor myself.

Boy was I wrong!

(As a side note: Carol lives in San Antonio. She drove all the way to Austin. How did she find me in the first place? From my articles on Positively Positive. That my friends, is the power of social media. )

So Carol walks in with her daughter wearing my “What Are You Manifesting” tee which she had ordered last month. Her daughter gives me a gift. Two books about poetry. Because she told her 8 year old that I love poems.

(As a side note. Dear Universe, Thank you for sending me these people. There. Are. No. Accidents.)

I immediately ask Carol if she won the Twitter contest (as I knew at that time she was tied with sweet young Katherine) would she be able to fly out to California and get away? She said ” Oh, let someone else win. I have gotten more out of this then you will ever ever know.”

To say I was touched would be an understatement.

The people you need to meet always show up when you need them. I feel that way about them and I am sure they feel that way about me. Bam!

I needed to meet someone who was participating so fully in their life. Who was raising a child in this way. Who was so willing to be attentive and present and inspired.

And did I ever need to meet this kid of hers.

By the way, the 8 year old? Her name was Jen, too.

So at one point I ask the group to write a letter to their 16 year old selves. (Everyone had journals in the class. It’s a big part of the Manifestation workshop.)

I felt bad because Jen was only 8 so I said to her ” Jen, you can write a letter to your 5 year old self, ok?”

She wrote ” Dear 5 year old self…. being 8 is awesome!”

At one point everyone was in child’s pose. I was reciting one of my favorite quotes:

“If you knew who walked beside you at all times, on the path that you have chosen, you could never experience fear or doubt again.”

― Wayne W. Dyer

No one budged from child’s pose except 8 year old Jen.

She got up to pick up a pen and write down what I was saying!

I needed to meet this little angel to be reminded what is possible and to be inspired again.

To allow myself to be surprised.

She asked her mom after they got back to San Antonio if, for her birthday in July, she could have a yoga lesson by me.

I learned from an 8 year old: how to be brave, how to ask for what you want, how to pay attention, how to listen, how to laugh, how to do a fierce backbend, how to show love, how to be okay with the fact that you might be the only one in the room who doesn’t understand something and conversely how to be the only one in the room who DOES understand something.

So here is a letter to my 8 year old self, which is the age I somehow feel I stopped growing. It’s when my dad died. (Maybe that little Jen was a version of me. I have to make sure I didn’t imagine her.)

Dear 8 year old me:

Being 37 is awesome! I know you don’t believe me now because life sucks since your daddy died but it will be ok. You will fall in love and you will go out and inspire people with dance parties and twitter contests and you will meet little girls who will show you what it means to be fearless. You will never get over that little piece of sadness, that part of you that died when your dad died but you will indeed transform that into a whole lotta love. You will make up for all that frowning you do now when you are 37. You will remember who you really are. I’m here waiting for you.

Oh, and that noise in your head? Get used to it. It’s called tinnitus.

My Manifestation Workshop. Me, Carol from San Antonio and her 8 year old daughter Jen. Black Swan Yoga, Austin Texas.

Thank you mini Jen for showing up Saturday and showing me what it means to be inspired and committed and fearless. That’s what an 8 year old looks like to me.
 All of Jen Pastiloff’s events listed here.
Join Jen Pastiloff in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the sunflowers!

Join Jen Pastiloff in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the sunflowers!

Daily Manifestation Challenge, Owning It!

Keep on Keepin’ on. The DMC.

January 6, 2012

Dear Manifesters, how I have missed you and your comments to the Challenges!

It’s been a while since a Daily Manifestation Challenge (DMC) as I was busy in London and filming Good Morning America and the holidays (oh, life is rough, life is rough).

I hope you have enjoyed the Manifestation Q&A Series so far. It’s only getting more and more exciting. Next month Wayne Dyer is posting on my site. My dream come true! He is the reason I call my company “Manifestation Yoga.” I have manifested one of my biggest dreams in 2011 (GMA) and now this in 2012!

Today’s DMC is based on a status update I posted on my Facebook 2 days ago since it got a lot of attention. Here it is:

“I commend anyone who is “putting themselves out there”. Whatever way you are doing it: Bravo! It is not always easy and often scary and sometimes met with criticism, but trust me…. keep on! keep on! I bow to you.”

Today’s Challenge is this: Can you keep keepin’ on?

In the comment section below tell us in what way you plan to keep on trekking. To keep on going. To never, never , never give up.

As Tom Petty says, “I Won’t Back Down” ( I play this song a lot in my classes.)

Take nothing personally.

I am going to give you an example.

Here I am putting myself out there daily.

Being very open and honest with people and laughing at myself on a daily basis. Talking about things like loss, my recovery from an eating disorder, my hearing loss etc. And excuse my language, but busting my ass 7 days a week teaching yoga and hustling, as it were. Yes, hustling. Teaching yoga to kids for free who have special needs like Down’s Syndrome, Autism, PWS, Cerebral Palsy etc. Anyway, what I do, how I roll. You get it.

So here I am fully exposed, putting myself out there, taking risks left and right. 

Sometimes falling but always, always getting back up again.

And would you believe there is someone with such a poisonous attitude toward me that they find every single thing I write, no matter what website or magazine, and post horrible hateful things about me? Who sends me mean emails? Who threatens me?

Do I stop writing? Nope. I write more. I write louder.

I know who this person even. Yikes! You might think it makes it a tad more difficult in a sense to “not take it personal”. To keep on. Especially with the knowledge I have.

And yet, that is what I do.

You might ask yourself: Self, how do you not take something personally when someone whom you used to be close with is attacking you for no apparent reason?

And you may have to whip out some self-help books to remember this one fact:

It’s not about you.

Its. Not. About. You.

So today, can you keep keepin’ on? Even if someone is slandering you on the internet? Even if you feel fat or broke? Even if you are tired or heartbroken or your mom just died? Even if you don’t “feel” like keepin’ on?

I know it ain’t easy.

But just do it. I bow to you.

We all bow to you.

This is why I have created this community website, this Daily Challenge. To keep coming back to this site and be reminded that although there may be bumps in the road, and although at times it may seem difficult, you must know this one thing: The Universe has got your back.

The amazing Karen Salmansohn, my greatest muse did this amazing poster. notsalmon.com

You keep me going, Tribe.

You with me?

@ManifestYogaJen